Money, for some reason, is a hard subject to talk about…especially in a church setting as a pastor. When pastors talk about finances many automatically assume they are doing so for the purpose of increasing revenue for the church. In the same vein, it is hard to talk about giving because people may start to make personal comparisons and feel ashamed about their own giving history…perhaps the money is extremely tight and God has not dealt with you in this area. That’s okay…but…brothers and sisters, I urge you to not overlook the purity of what I am saying and thus miss the point. We are not talking about a salvation issue here. So, are we good? Okay, good. Here we go.
At the beginning of this month, my wife and I had “the talk”. You have been there at some point. This talk was one that centered around finances. The outcome was meager for us to say the least. My wife had added up the bills and the projected income and we were going to be behind. We realized that, if we did not buy groceries this month, we would still be “in the red”. It was a nauseating feeling…to know there was nothing we could do short of selling a kidney on the black market to break even. The most frustrating thing about this is the fact that we are really wise with what we spend. We are not extravagant spenders and our lifestyle is very simple. Where was God? This was an honest question that we had, and that anyone would natually have in this situation.
We began to brainstorm about ways we could cut back in order to make it. Next month was going to be better, we knew that, so if we could do something to get ahead that would be very helpful. As we tossed around ideas we thought maybe we could cut back on our weekly giving at church. I mean…God has only asked us to give 10 percent, so maybe he would understand if we adjusted our giving to make that our new goal. In the midst of this conversation, God reminded me of similar situations in the past in which He worked out these kind of details. I remembered being a newly married youth pastor and spending more on gas than I was making at my first church assignment. I remember the time when we gave what we had to help a friend and a random check came in the mail from a reimbursement we were not expecting. So, we had a history with God in these scenerios. A long history.
Cutting down on giving made sense, but it also made me think. I couldn’t imagine that God would be sitting on His throne saying, “Okay, you really need to stop giving as much…I can’t keep up.” So, we decided to carry on, and simply trust. It was so hard to do. Even though I preach about it regularly. I suppose I am a normal hypocrite like everyone else in that regard.
We had such a peace about the coming month. Our minds shifted from asking “where is God?” to “I can’t wait to see what He will do.” The result was amazing. We saw blessing after blessing. Reimbursement checks we were not expecting, savings on things we didn’t account for, and a generous gift from a sister church that we did not know was coming. All of these things, together, added up to a month of abundance…and by abundance, I mean paying all the bills with a little bit left to get ahead for next month. We attributed it to allowing God to work in our thought process.
Odds are you have stories like this…and odds are you frequently forget about them like I do.
I tell this story simply to say this… God wants to show off. Let Him do so.
Love you all.